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tv   Martin Bashir  MSNBC  October 20, 2011 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT

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bloody, being dragged in the streets by jub lent rebels. across the nation, there has been gunfire in the streets of sirte, gadhafi's hometown, have been full of dancing and rejoicing. that's where gadhafi was reportedly found in his hole, seized by rebels and shot dead. again, cautious officials are not yet confirming the details. indeed here is hillary clinton earlier reacting with surprise and skepticism to the news. >> wow! >> unconfirmed. >> unconfirmed, yeah. unconfirmed reports about gadhafi being captured. unconfirmed. yeah. we had a bunch of those before. we had, you know, had him captured a couple of times. >> in the words of libya's prime
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minister, no hesitation. only we have been waiting for this moment for a long time. for more, let's bring in two experts on the region. with us one of the world's most distinguished war correspond epts, janine digiovanni. joining us from paris and the "new york times" columnist nick christoff. good afternoon to both of you. nick, a 42-year dictatorship broad to a bloody end. were you surprised at how gadhafi met his fate? >> well, it looked for a while as he might indeed be in sirte and seen that it was going to fall at some point. so in that sense it seemed more a matter of time, but it certainly is -- nobody wants to see his grave or anybody's grave, but it's a relief to everybody who has watched everything unfold. >> you watched the visit to libya and you describe a country haunted by the ghosts of gadhafi's reign of terror.
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is the widespread celebration a mark of how he terrorized his people? >> reporter: martin, i think we have to remember for 40 years, people were deeply traumatized by gadhafi. they lived in a world of silence and fear and a world where they cooperate speak and had no vote. they were terrified of being taken away and tortured and killed and abducted. what we are going to see now, it's still too early to begin the celebrations. the reconciliation is going to be tough. it's going to be a long road and a lot of nation building to be done. these people have never voted before and don't know what institutions are. they will have to build up their country from scratch. here in europe we are beginning to say we need to see reconciliation between the parties. it's a long road ahead. >> story your fear, janine, that their might be remnants of gadhafi's regime who will
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involve themselves in diverting the development of democracy as much as they can or are they completely finished? >> reporter: i'm more worried about the power vacuum. whenever there is a dictatorship that ends, the fear of who will come next. in this case it's a long way to democratic elections. the people don't know what democracy is. when you have a generation, anyone under 40 has no concept of something we take for granted. we live with democracy and we can vote and choose what we want. what i saw 10 days ago were young people beginning to come out of their shells and beginning to live and work in banks and for the first time in their lives have a sense of hope. that's really extraordinary. i do think that the international community and the libyan people themselves. remember there is highly educated people who are educated in the uk and europe and america who are going home now. they want to build their
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country. but they are deeply haunt and traumatized by what happened to them and their family members. there is a lot of healing that has to be done. that will take time. >> indeed. nick, republicans spent the last six months attacking the president on his approach to libya. they say he leads from behind and so on. is this the final vindication of his approach? >> it's not a final vindication, but it is a tentative vindication. what he did was tremendously controversial and not only among republicans, but a lot of democrats as well. there were a lot of reservations and a huge risk and so far it worked. we don't know where libya will go. there risks ahead, but for right now the white house can feel pretty good about the risk they took and what it approved. >> pins pally because no american lives have been lost and a muslim nation does not appear inclined to turn against
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america. >> when you travel around libya, it's an astonishing feeling to go to a check point and as an american you are a little bit nervous when you show the pass point. in libya, they just about want to hug you. the enthusiasm for france and britain is an astonishing thing to encounter in the mideast today. >> the council said it wants to be a government of the people, for the people. as you say, shedding four decades of dictatorship is not going to happen overnight. it's got to be difficult. this is a tribal nation, a nation that as you say has no experience or institutions of government where democracy functions. what role does europe and the united states have to play going forward? >> reporter: i think we have to help from humanitarian assistance in knowledge a civil
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society. we have to start from scratch and teach them what it is to have institutions. they don't know. i have to say i was really encouraged in libya, much more in a sense than i was in egypt and tunisia to see the young people want to move forward know and what it is like to experience democracy. there is a part of the constitution of the ntc that said that the people who are there now in the interim government cannot remain. they will have to be democratically elected. that is going to take time and what really does worry me is that immediately after the fall of someone, there is always a mad scramble for power. at the moment, people are not divided because they are really held together by one common belief. we want to get rid of gadhafi. we should wait. we have to watch what happens and be very open to helping them. one wonderful thing i so agree with nick, when i first arrived in ban gazay to see thank you, america, thank you, nato. thank you, france.
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it was a shock after working all over the world and being ashamed sometimes to be american or british. it was incredible the enthusiasm there. >> this doesn't lack resources in terms of oil deposits. is that going to be an issue for the ongoing development of the government? >> well, in many places oil has been more of a curse than a blessing. there indeed a lot of smart people who are very wary of where libya will go. i happen to be more optimistic for a couple of reasons. the oil can give a boost to the economy and help buy off the doubters around the country, but more than that, i think i was really encouraged in libya by the degree to which the rebels or revolutionaries were willing to not seek revenge against those families who supported gadhafi. they didn't loot their homes and
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steal their cars and they didn't beat them up. for the most part if they were willing to turn in their guns, the pro-gadhafi people were left alone. that is a sign that many libyans are willing to look ahead rather than look backward. >> nick christoff, thank you and janine, thank you. the book is ghosts by daylight. love, war, and redemption. thank you very much. an interview with a new libya ambassador to the united states on this historic day. >> today we can definitively say that the gadhafi regime has come to an end. the last major regime strongholds have fallen. the new government is consolidating the control over the country and one of the world's longest-serving dictators is no more. of any small business credit card. the spark card earns double miles... so we really had to up our game. with spark, the boss earns double miles
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when kadary seized power 42 years ago, richard nixon is president and would take the tenure of six more presidents before gadhafi's grip on power would come to an end. it was in february when riots broke out in benghazi after the arrest of human rights activist who was working to free political prisoners locked up by the gadhafi regime. just one week later, anti-gadhafi rebels took control of misrata and the security council and european union imposed sanctions including an armed embargo and a ban on travel to libya. on march 16th, the french television to pronounce everything be over in 48 hours. the very next day, the un authorizes a no-fly zone and improves the u.s. of all necessary measures to protect
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civilians. three days later, president obama told americans the u.s. will take action. >> we struck regime forces approaching ben gaza to save the city and the people within it. we hit gadhafi's troops in neighboring -- allowing the opposition to drive them out. we hit gadhafiy's air defenses which paved the way for a no-fly zone. >> just over a month later, a nato missile strisz kills gadhafi's youngest son while key figures condition to defect. in august with the rebels closing in on tripoli, he calls libyan state television and is barely audible in telling followers to liberate the country from his opponents claiming "the blood of martyrs is fuel for the battlefield." rebel forces enter tripoli with little or no resistance. since then it's a steady combination of nato air strikes and a better-organized and more
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determined rebel force committed to finding and cornering gadhafi. today, finally their task is complete can gadhafi is gone. just an hour ago i had the opportunity to speak with the libyan ambassador to the united states on this historic day for his nation. ambassador, i imagine this is a poignant and profound moment for yourself. >> it is of course. we have been waiting for this moment for a very long time. more than 40 years. it came after heavy casualties and sacrificing blood and lives and in the end, the people got the dictatorship regime. it is. >> what was your reaction when you saw the former dictator of your nation bloodied, dragged
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from underground and eventually observing pictures of him dead? >> there is the time i believe that the news i heard an hour or hour and a half before that it is true news. this is the reality now in front of my eyes and i was celebrating with my wife and my daughter. this is the end of the dictatorship. as you know the dictatorship end is always a tragedy. gadhafi chooses a bad way for his end if he from the beginning just gave up and let the people decide what they want, i can tell you that he will not face what he faced, he ands his family now. >> do you understand he resisted arrest and that's why his life was taken in the way it was? >> yeah. i think this is what he deserved. he is a cruel man. he killed just for the sake of killing. he treated the libyan people the
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way as he described them as rats and all these things. he has no respect for the libyan people. this will describe them as rats and this is the people who made the future of libya as taken out of the strong hands of gadhafi's regime. the dream of the libyan people now came true. we are very proud of ourselves and our people. we are proud of our friends who helped the united states and qatar and britain and france and canada and all the countries who helped us. turkey and many of us, egypt and tunisia. i think that nato and the united states they are proud and celebrating that they came to risk and save the people from the man who has only one language.
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nothing but that. >> you said this is a great day for libyan and american relations. do you acknowledge the role of america in supporting the uprising in your homeland? >> i really do. i was interviewed by wolf blitzer from the second time in and he asked me what you would tell the president and he put the camera in front of my face and asked the president, please, mr. president, help the libyan people. don't let gadhafi kill them. the libyans do appreciate the leadership of the united states and the support of the people. the support of the media and the support of the government organization that has been working with us as this uprising starts. we also evaluate the support of the nato countries. i mentioned the other countries. i am very happy to tell the
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world that the libyans did not disappoint you. the libyans managed to put an end for the book of gadhafi's regime. they open a new chapter with greater dreams for democratic countries and democratic regimes. libyans will enjoy for the first time in 40 years to know how to elect their own people. they still need their friends and they need them badly. we need them to establish our democratic institution. we need them to help -- we need them to help us and to help the libyans to be trained to take care of their countries. we still need their help. >> the transitional national council is in control of the entire nation. what assurances can you give your american friends that this nation is not going to be further detable stabilized, for example, by extremists in the mideast or indeed by remnants of the gadhafi regime.
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what assurances can you give us? >> the regime ended completely today. the people who were fighting beside him are fighting for their life. i resume no threat from the remains of the libyan regime. we have to work very hard for the consilliation for the libyan people and i can assure to you that libya will not change the gadhafi regime of dictatorship and abuse the human rights and no freedom with any other regime. the libyans, they fight for a long time. they fight for a new democratic libya. libya for every libyans. >> may i ask you a final question. how do you see president obama's role? he called for ka daf to step
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down and he provided libyans with military support. are you satisfied with the way the president has led on this issue? >> we are not only satisfied, we are grateful to him and his administration and secretary clinton and everybody who participated. we are very grateful to president obama, of course. >> ambassador, congratulations on reopening the embassy in washington and thank you very much for joining us. >> thanks. >> the libyan ambassador to the united states. when we return, more details on the end of gadhafi. >> the job is still daunting, but they won't be quite as worried to be constantly looking over their shoulder at him. bud. and i'm definitely not a pushover. but i am a voter. so washington... before you even think about cutting my medicare and social security benefits...
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we have breaking news about the role the u.s. military may have played in the demise of colonel gadhafi. nbc news confirmed that a u.s.
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drone fired upon a convoy carrying the former dictator as he attempted to flee his hometown of sirte. what happened next is an evolving story. chief pentagon correspondent has been working his sources over the day. what are you learn being the are drone strike? >> u.s. military officials are telling us a predator drone fired a missile at moammar gadhafi's 15-vehicle convoy. in addition, one nato war plane fired a rocket at that missile at that very convoy. according to the officials, several of the vehicles were either struck or disabled. the rest had been scattered. it appears that moammar gadhafi was in or near one of the vehicles struck. he made his way to a nearby drainage pipe alongside the highway where his rebel captors eventually found him. took him into custody and that
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video where we see him alive and in custody of those rebel forces before he apparently died somehow in an ambulance on his way from sirte to misrata. what's interesting is as you know, the predator drones are not just there to fire missiles, but the primary mission is surveillance. it's very likely given the kind of intense fighting over sirte and u.s. intelligence that said moammar gadhafi is in sirte, that that predator drone was hovering over sirte when moammar gadhafi made his way into the convoy and out of sirte. it is more likely than not that the u.s. military already knew that moammar gadhafi was that n that convoy when they fired upon it. which of course raises the question about u.s. claims that they were not out to actually kill moammar gadhafi. it appears they weren't. >> indeed, jim. you rub shoulders with more
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military sources than i have cups of tea. what's the atmosphere here today. is this a job well done? >> particularly because the u.s. military although it was very involved and one of the driving military forces when military operations and strikes were first launched against moammar gadhafi's regime in libya. the military while it remained active did take somewhat of a back seat. even though there were initial complaints about the fact that nato, most of the nato countries that the british and the french and italians were not up to carrying out this mission militarily in the end, the united states was able to at least visibly take a back seat although quite frankly the u.s. military remained actively involved in terms of surveillance and launching occasional air strikes against other libyan military targets just as recently as a couple of
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days ago. i think everyone is quite pleased at the way it eventually turned out although again, the u.s. military had to carry the load in the beginning. >> indeed. we have to salute their intelligence and when you think about being hit by a drone, osama bin laden was discovered in a house and they have noted and followed gadhafi and located his convoy. this is pretty impressive intelligence, isn't it? >> it is. in this case it was fairly obvious since intelligence indicated gadhafi was in sirte. the rebels launched very intensive attacks aimed at gadhafi loyalists. it was clear that eventually to paraphrase a little bit that the cockroaches would scatter. that's what happened here apparently. the drone, the u.s. military drone was right on top of it when he did. >> as always, thank you so much.
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>> when we come back, the great contenders and their thoughts on the president's libyan intervention. [ engine revving ] [ spectator ] gun it, bro! what's this guy doing? dude. [ laughs ] whoa! whoo! no way! go, go, go, go! are you kidding? [ cheering ] oh, my god. did you guys see that? maniac. [ male announcer ] the midsize nissan frontier with full size horsepower and torque. innovation for doers. innovation for all. ♪
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proven. powerful. safe. salonpas. a short time ago, president obama told the people of libya they won their revolution. for the latest, let's go to adrienne mong in misrata where the body has reportedly been taken. we have seen pictures of elated crowds all day, but i assume there is not just joy, but relief that this horrendous dictator has gone. >> reporter: good afternoon. you are absolutely right. there is joy and relief. joy we can hear with celebratory gunfire and fireworks as well. actual fireworks. lots of vehicles honking in the background and people out on the street below us.
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we can hear children cheering god is great. there is also relief. he said they can now start getting the real work done. they are planning to announce officially the liberation of libya on saturday. in the meantime, they have said they will go ahead with the burial of gadhafi's body. according to islamic law, it has to happen within 24 hours. [inaudible] . the transitional government will make that decision. when we asked would it simply be a burr willial, he said -- [inaudible] >> adrienne mong, i'm sorry, our signal is not great. thank you very much for joining us. moammar gadhafi's death is a significant win in president obama's foreign policy. a short time ago, the president announced word of gadhafi's demise and tot ewing successes.
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>> without putting a single u.s. service member on the ground, we achieved our objectives and our nato mission will soon come to an end. this comes at a time when we see the strength of american leadership across the world. >> jonathan is an editorial page writer and msnbc contributor and an nbc news correspondent. jonathan, after putting up with months of criticism, the accusation was he led from behind and didn't know what he was doing. isn't this the vindication of his strategy? >> i being so. one of the things we see is any decision the president makes is complicated. what we are seeing is that the international stage, so many complexities that you need to take the time to see whether a decision that is made will actually work. you saw that with president obama personally signing off on the plan that ended up killing
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osama bin laden. we see that now with the lead from behind strategy here in libya as you said. the president was roundly criticized for the united states not having a more active role and yet we are seeing cool, calm, rational leadership. what can lead to success. >> we are hearing that a u.s. predator drone strike, a missile strike was what first attacked this convoy that led ka daf to come out of the caravan of vehicles and hide himself in a drain. this was a direct action by the american military. >> right. this was one of the things where the united states is certainly completely involved in the operation in libya. there no american boots on the ground. no american personnel in harm's way. that gives the president the ability to at least convince the american people that this limited action of the united states is worth supporting. >> i remember when the president was innaugurate, within a few
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months, the first overseas trip included a visit to turkey and he went to the university in egypt and he reached out to the muslim nations. how significant has it been that the way he played the american military footprint in libya has actually built on improving relationships as opposed to the past where let's be frank, it's not a nation regarded as the great satan. >> in this particular case, there is something unique about it. a convergence of interest. for the first time in a long time as far as i can remember in the arab world, actions by the united states military and the interest of the arab world and at least the popular sentiment converged. that didn't happen in the case of iraq and other parts of american military involvement. that's why there is in this case a cause of celebration towards the united states and nato. who would have thought in an arab country such as libya, you see french and american flags being hoisted up in benghazi.
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that's what we saw because of the interest. >> marco red,white,and blue yo commented on the president's leadership with regards to libya. listen to this. >> i think the president did the right thing. he took too long to do it and didn't do enough of it. the proof is as you see before us. what happened as a result of this being an extended conflict? a number of things. the country is more beat up and it costs more money to rebuild and more people dead. >> that was a backhanded compliment, wasn't it? >> it was. they can't seem to give the president of the united states a win for an inelegant explanation. the united states is always called upon to be a leader in the world and project its influence. here we are, the united states actively involved in uprooting a ruthless take tator and marco rubio, senator cannot -- >> the republican and the
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presidential election. it can't seem to even go the extra step to say this is a great day for the people of libya. this is a great day for free people around the world. this is a great day for the united states and leadership. >> thank you very much, indeed. much more on the death of colonel gadhafi. stay with us. >> i warned colonel kadaffy we would hold his regime accountable for any new terrorist attacks launched against american citizens.
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>> this is one toughnot so nice guy. they got a chance now. what happened? in this case, america spent $2 billion total and didn't lose a single life. >> today's death of moammar gadhafi marks a definitive end to a dictatorship of more than four decades. colonel gadhafi's career began
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as the leader of the revolution 42 years ago and ended as the victim of one. it was in 1969 age 27 that he led a bloodless coo against the reigning king. his goal of an islamic socialist state defaulted into a classic military dictatorship. with him at the top and all dissent punishable by death. his support for the ira and columbia made him an international pariah. libya was involved in the bombing of a berlin nightclub that led ronald reagan to use this famous description. >> this mad dog of the mideast has a goal of a world revolution, muslim fundamentalist revolution. >> reagan ordered air strikes. dozens were killed. the dictator escaped, the first of his nine lives. two years later, an explosion of
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flight 103 killed 270 people. gadhafi denied involvement living a lifestyle funded by libya's oil wealth. after september 11 he would attempt to repair his image. he admitted responsibility for lockerbie and paid billions to victim families. he spoke out against terror, dismantled his own weapons programs. sanctions were lift and he shook the hand of president obama at the g 8 summit in 2009. any good will abroad was lost at home as civil war broke out. he said he would fight to the death and today having hidden for weeks underground, death is what he got. >> an historic day indeed. let's bring back -- what remains of gadhafi loyalists and do they
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have power. >> he ruled people with fear and the people that were around him fought because of that fear. we do now look at the saying. a definite change or a monumental change in the tactics. he was pointing to the operation because he had a lot of money. no doubt the remnants of the regime including his family and his son is still at large. the tribal members will fight on or carry on his message and perhaps try to disrupt the transitional process. there remnants that the national transitional council will be worried about. >> the president speaking earlier said he urged the transitional council to work with the international community. he also said and i'm quoting here, theirs will be a long and winding road to democracy. what does the u.s. have to do in terms of assisting this democracy? >> continue to do what it's doing. the president made it clear that
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they will not be going it alone on interesting matters. so you will see the united states continue to work with and not necessarily be the lead person, but work with the french or the germans or the british. work with anyone who wants to help libya move from dictatorship to at least some semblance of democracy. he is right to say to the libyan people, but also to the american people that this is not something that is going to happen overnight. this is something that will take years for libya to evolve into some sort of country where people can make decisions over their own life. look at the united states. we are 200 something years old. a democracy is still evolving. the same future is there for libya. >> what kind of civic institutions currently exist in libya? >> very few. none whoever.
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they did have private institutions and did not have labor unions. they are building a country from scratch. that's a good opportunity where by after the removal of the dictator, you had the dictat dictatorship in place. in ribbia, that's not the case. you are building from the ground up. it's a good opportunity to start. it is about soft power now and allowing the libyan people to determine their future with the help of the community. investments and corporations and exchange programs. that will be part of the western policy as they try to rebuild the countries. now that the military is coming to a conclusion. >> sorry this the obama doctrine? >> this being? >> the way he handled and the military progression and now fall. this consensus and cooperative approach. >> sure. we can call it that.
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i don't know if we can slap the doctrine label on it with just this victory, but what what we are see suggest a signal since it became president and right now that the united states is not going it alone. the united states sees itself as part or first among equals. part of a larger coalition to make things right for people around the world. >> a partner. thank you so much. much more ahead. now a check on wall street as we move towards closing bell. hampton pearson has the market wrap. >> hello, martin. here is a look at how stocks are doing with about 15 minutes left in the trading day. volatility in the markets and the dow is up and s and p up six points and the nasdaq down about 4.5 points. they are looking at the events in libya and impact on oil. there is a sharp reversal on
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when the oil trades pushed prices to more than $89 a barrel, the drop undermines two weeks of the 19% price gain. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide.
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number one in online equity trades. trade commission-free for 30 days, plus get up to $500 when you open an account. for more now on the death of moammar gadhafi, and it often seems the focus of the obama administration on foreign policy, this stands in stark contrast to the views of those who want his job. consider texas governor rick perry. >> i think it's time for us to have a very serious discussion about defunding the united nations. >> or this from michele bachmann, who seems unaware that libya is actually in africa. >> now with the president, he put us in libya. he is now putting us in africa. we were already stretched too thin, and he put our special operations forces in africa.
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>> and don't you dare ask herman cain about the president of u-becky-becky-becki stan. >> good afternoon, martin. >> the president has been very restrained, and apparently reluctant to take or claim this as a victory. and his spokesman talked about this as being a victory for the libyan people, not a vindication for the administration. but nevertheless, this has been a pretty effective strategy, isn't it? >> in the final result, martin, absolutely. there's no doubt that in his first stage of what essentially has been one of the more promising in the arab spring, despite some very difficult starts and challenges from congress on the war powers act, which almost dethroned the entire initiative, the united states provided that quiet, effective, military support behind the scenes to get nato's act together, as well as the type of intelligence support
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that the revolutionary forces needed in order to evade and ultimately surround gadhafi's forces. so i have, myself, wondered why we should be so involved in libya and not in syria, but the administration handled it just the way, you know, sort of a goldilocks approach, not too hot, not too cold. >> so what you do you think of marco rubio from florida, his comments, that we should have got in earlier, and because of that, libya will suffer greatly because of the condition of the nation following the length of time it's taken to get rid of gadhafi? >> well, he's not the only one, martin. after all, senator mccain and senator lieberman were highly critical of the administration's initial hesitation to back up its words with deeds. the fact of the matter is that the american people need to be in a position of understanding. what, indeed, are the stakes in a country like libya? we have, obviously, a humanitarian goal of preventing civilians from being killed there. but ultimately, it's europe that
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has a far greater stake. the administration has always believed in the end its foreign policy is going to best be accomplished by not always having the united states at the lead. and remember, the american name and democracy american style in the middle east is toxic. there is not a great deal of support for the administration right now in other arab spring countries. and if we got it right here, maybe that will trickle across the mediterranean, to egypt and to other countries who will say, you know, after all was said and done, the president got it right here, and we have to at least give the americans the credit they deserve, and that's what i'm hoping for. obviously, i would like to see arabs more supportive of the administration's policy in the middle east. >> absolutely. trickle-down foreign policy there. what do you think, though, about the future for libya? because we've been hearing throughout this broadcast, there are virtually no civic institutions. the structure of democracy has to be constructed from the ground upwards. are you concerned at all about the future for that country? >> well, of course. i've been to libya twice and i
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was supposed to be meeting today, coincidentally, with the libyan ambassador, because they have urgent needs that have to be redressed. there's a country that didn't have any civil society. it has 41 tribes, all of which have different agendas. there's clearly a huge amount of money to be made from arms exports, as well as from oil exports. and it's going to take the leadership of a country, where there hasn't been one leader that has emerged as the towering figure above others. you know, martin, you know, as well as anyone, because of your great respect and knowledge of history, that democratic revolutions normally fail. maybe in libya, that will not be the trajectory. >> we can only hope. ambassador marc ginsberg, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you, martin. ♪ when your chain of supply ♪ goes from here to shanghai, that's logistics. ♪ ♪ chips from here, boards from there ♪ ♪ track it all through the air, that's logistics. ♪
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judge the qualities of each candidate, i would suggest that today is a much better moment for us to paycheck an assessment. and that's because it's now possible to look at what these candidates said about the uprising in libya, compare it with the president's actions, and then consider what has actually happened. so, first up is michele bachmann. and speaking in may, three months into the uprising in libya, she made up an entirely false story about 30,000 civilians being killed by nato air strikes, and then offered her view of the president's leadership. "he said he wanted to go for humanitarian purposes, and overnight we are hearing of potentially 10,000 to 30,000 people killed in the strikes. the president is not leading on libya and that's the truth." now, aside from the fact that it's unwise for political leaders to tell outright lies, the only truth that we could find following gadhafi's death
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would appear to be the catastrophic collapse of michele bachmann's campaign. but uh if she's perhaps less experienced in the business of political leadership, how about the thunderous approach of newt gingrich? here's newt on libya in march. "we should exercise a no-fly zone this evening." a few weeks later on the "today" show, newt had changed his tune. "i would not have intervened." what's he saying? did he support the united nations' no-fly zone or not? was the president right to intervene or not? who knows? but what we do know is that not one of these candidates has said anything sensible about libya in the last six months. but with the assistance of america, the measured leadership of president obama, libyans tonight will be able to echo the words of thomas jefferson in a letter he wrote to john adams in 1816. "i l

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